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Rape Culture: Men and Myths

All too often, rape reduction strategies are phrased in terms of women altering their behaviorsnot to walk home alone at night, or not to dress provocatively. This highlights the uniqueness of rape as a crime where largely the behavior of the population of victims (women) is the focus, rather than upon the population (men) which is statistically most responsible for perpetrating the crime. However, by encouraging boys and men to be more self-policing both of their own thoughts, and the words and behaviors of other men, a more meaningful and equitable approach to rape reduction can be achieved.

The focus on reducing the rate of rape normally focuses on how girls and women should alter their behavior. Discuss how boys and men could alter their behavior to reduce rape from occurring. Include a discussion on the contributions of cultural values and myths. Programs, both informal and formal, which seek to educate all genders about rape must stress the lack of ambiguity of the word no (Ferguson, 2014). Instead of exploring the ambiguities in scenarios, it is important to stress that consent is a black and white issue, as well as emphasizing that when someone is under the influence of alcohol, they cannot give consent.

It is also vitally important to stress to boys and men the need to accept rejection, rather than taking it as a challenge or personal insult (Ferguson, 2014). Finally, rather than giving priority to male friendship, it is vitally important boys and men intervene when they witness harassment of women. When verbal harassment is not socially acceptable, only then can the types of situations which permit toxic masculinity to foster rape culture can be addressed. Adults should also be careful about making negative comments about the ways in which girls and women are dressed, or making distinctions between so-called chaste or nice girls and women and provocative girls and women.

References

Ferguson, C. (2014). 5 things we must teach young boys about rape right now. Time. Retrieved from: https://ift.tt/30IzBQI

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